13th Documentary: Diving Into The History of Racial Inequalities

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13th is a documentary where the filmmaker Ava DuVernay analyzes the history of racial inequality in the United States. The documentary dives into mass incarceration and how the government has a hold on African Americans. Ava DuVernay uses interviews, newspaper articles, and video clips from the media to further the idea of racism hidden in our government’s laws. Majority of the prisoners in America’s prisons are African-American even though African-Americans are the minority group in America. The film itself is named for the 13th amendment that abolished slavery with the exception of punishment for crime. The documentary depicts how the United States government justice system is fueled by racism.

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In 1865 slavery was abolished, nearly 4 million people were freed from being property and working for nearly any wages. Slaves were the backbone of the economic production in the South. When slavery ended the economy had to be rebuilt, their solution was to put the freed black people to work in the most efficient way. The 13th grants freedom to anyone except for criminals. Since it is unconstitutional for someone to be held as a slave, criminals are just used for free labor instead and as a source of money for bigger corporations. As shown in the documentary in 2014, more than 2 million people were incarcerated in the United States -- of those,40 percent were African-American men. Majority of the prisoners in the nation are black.

Justice and law was created so that everyone would be treated the same, the prison system is supposed to protect American citizens, however it does just the opposite. The history of racism and the amendments from the constitution and now the present laws contribute to the era of mass incarceration that came after slavery. American citizens are being treated different due to their race. Since black men were linked to crack cocaine they were treated much more differently than white men who were linked to powder cocaine. The same crime but different punishment because of skin tone, the government explicitly slows inequality.

To conclude, 13th depicts how the United States government justice system is fueled by racism. I believed that 13th is great start for having more conversations about the subject matter. Racism is still alive and well, this topic is current and relevant because many people still live in a fantasy where everyone is treated equal. Police brutality is just one example of how it affects today’s society, so many young black men have lost their lives in a battle that many people have been ignoring. 1 in 17 white males face the chance of being imprisoned in their life, while black men face the odds of 1 in 3. The black community is a target and has been for a while. 

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13th Documentary: Diving Into The History of Racial Inequalities. (2023, March 30). WritingBros. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/13th-documentary-diving-into-the-history-of-racial-inequalities/
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13th Documentary: Diving Into The History of Racial Inequalities. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/13th-documentary-diving-into-the-history-of-racial-inequalities/> [Accessed 16 Jun. 2024].
13th Documentary: Diving Into The History of Racial Inequalities [Internet]. WritingBros. 2023 Mar 30 [cited 2024 Jun 16]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/13th-documentary-diving-into-the-history-of-racial-inequalities/
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